Cheshire East – Supporting key workers accessing childcare and education

21 March 2020

Cheshire East – Supporting key workers accessing childcare and education

Cheshire East Council has published guidance to help residents, employers, schools and childcare providers respond to the call from central government to close schools, nurseries and other early years settings to most pupils.

The Prime Minister’s announcement on Wednesday (18 March) stated that schools and early years settings will close except for looking after the children of ‘key workers’ and vulnerable children – this includes pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The government’s guidance sets key principles and further clarification regarding definition of ‘key workers’.

Key workers include those working in:

  • Health and social care;
  • Education and childcare;
  • Key public services;
  • Local and national government;
  • Food and other necessary goods;
  • Public safety and national security;
  • Transport; and
  • Utilities, communication and financial services.

Councillor Kathryn Flavell, cabinet member for children and families, said: “The government guidance makes it clear, ‘If it is at all possible for children to be at home then they should be.’

“However, if your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed above, and you cannot keep your child safe at home, then your children will be prioritised for education provision. Education provision includes attendance at school, college or childcare provider.

“If workers think they fall within the critical categories they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

“If your school is closed then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend.

“Where possible, we would encourage childcare providers, schools and colleges to continue to look after key workers’ children throughout the Easter holidays.

“Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as key workers by the government can send their children to school, if required.”

Find the council’s guidance at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/covid19 .

You can also access government information direct at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Parish Clerk: Dr Elizabeth Maddock

Lower Withington Parish Council